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Madhya Pradesh

Congress team meets EC, claims conspiracy and poll violations in MP, Chhattisgarh

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Days after Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh voted to elect their new assemblies, a Congress delegation on Saturday met the three-member Election Commission here alleging a conspiracy to distort election results in the two states, expressing "grave concern" over the safekeeping of EVMs.
 
The Congress also alleged an organised attempt by the BJP to try and subvert the mandate of the people and urged the poll panel to take cognisance of these "extremely alarming incidents".
 
In two separate memoranda submitted to the Commission, a party delegation led by Abhishek Singhvi and Manish Tewari demanded that necessary steps be taken for preventing manipulation of results and to ensure that the counting of votes and other related processes are free from interference in the two states.
 
The party alleged there was a larger conspiracy related to EVMs in Madhya Pradesh to distort the results of the elections. 
 
It alleged that 48 hours after the close of polling in the state, a school bus carrying EVM machines without the registration plate reached the Sagar District Collector's office "ostensibly" to deposit those machines.
 
"This incident is a clear case of certain parties and individuals engaging in corrupt practices to manipulate the outcome of the recently concluded election," the party said, demanding an inquiry and segregation of those machines from the rest.
 
"Furthermore, following the failure and malfunctioning of the EVMs during the elections, there is a clear case to be made of a larger conspiracy to distort the results," the memorandum submitted to the poll panel said. 
 
The party also expressed concern over the security of election strongrooms saying the presence of unauthorised individuals in and around the strongrooms leaves the machines and the result vulnerable to manipulation.
 
It also called for segregation of used and unused EVMs, recommending that unused ones should be kept off campus if possible, or at least in separate sealed rooms.
 
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The delegation also alleged "unlawful meetings" between the Chief Ministers and District Collectors during the operation of the model code of conduct. 
 
"It has been observed in the ongoing Chhattisgarh state assembly election that the District Collectors have been operating mobile phones and other electronic devices inside the counting room," the delegation said.
 
"We hope that the commission will issue clear and strong directions to ensure that the sanctity and integrity of the recently concluded polls is maintained."
 
Later in the day, addressing a press conference, Tewari said, "It was a very desperate attempt by the BJP to try and subvert the process of democracy."
 
Showing some video clips of the EVMs in a hotel room, in a school bus and people entering the strong room, the former Union minister said, "The second issue which is extremely serious is that the EVMs were found in the hotel rooms. 
 
Raising question over the Election Commission, he said, "On the one hand the Commission says the officers responsible have been suspended and the the state Commission is saying that the EVMs have not been tampered with. 
 
"How has the state EC come to the conclusion that those EVMs have not been tampered with?" he asked, adding that those EVMs belonged to a particular polling booth and were found at an unauthorised position.
 
He also demanded that repolling should be done for the booths where these EVMs were found. 
 
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel also demanded that the representatives of all political parties should be allowed while transporting EVMs to counting centres from strongrooms. 
 
It also should be cross-checked if postal ballots were received from eligible voters. The Rajya Sabha MP said, "The conduct of top officials in three districts -- Rajnandgaon, Kondagaon and Bilaspur should be reviewed and a second round of counting should be initiated only after completion of the counting of the first round," he said. 
 
IANS
 

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IndiGo adds Bhopal and Jabalpur as new destinations

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Low-cost carrier IndiGo has announced plans to introduce non-stop flights on the Bhopal-Hyderabad and Jabalpur-Hyderabad routes with effect from January 2019.
 
A press release from the airline said it would also introduce a fourth daily return flight between Hyderabad and Tirupati.
 
Bhopal and Jabalpur will be the airline's 65th and 66th destinations and the third city in Madhya Pradesh after Indore that it will fly to.
 
Mr William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo said, “We are pleased to announce Bhopal and Jabalpur as our 65th and 66th destinations effective January 2019. We will operate daily non-stop flights from Bhopal and Jabalpur to connect these cities with Hyderabad. We will also be introducing a 4th daily return flight between Hyderabad and Tirupati.” 
 
“IndiGo will continue to expand its network to meet the requirements of both business and leisure travellers wherever they demand it. It is our constant endeavour to provide more flexibility of choice to our customers...," he added.
 
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Assembly polls: Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram witness 75% polling

 
MP Assembly Elections: 5 cr voters to decide fate of state as polling begins
More than 75 percent of the electors in Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram voted amidst tight security today to choose new legislative assemblies in Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram -- two of the five states where crucial elections are being held just months of the all-important 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
 
Election Commission of India (ECI) officials said in New Delhi that 75% polling was recorded till 6 pm in 227 of the 230 constituencies as compared to 72.13% in the 2013 Assembly elections.
 
In the three Left-wing extremism (LWE)-affected constituencies of Baihar, Lalji and Paraswada, where polling was held from 7 am to 3 pm, the percentage of polling was reported as 78%, 79% and 80.06%, respectively.
 
The officials said that Mizoram recorded 75% voting by the close of polling at 5 pm. The state had recorded 83.41% polling in 2013.
 
The final voting figures in both states could go up slightly after information from all the polling booths in all the constituencies become available, they said. 
 
In Madhya Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is seeking a fourth consecutive term in office and the Congress is making a strong bid to return to power after a gap of 15 years.
 
In Mizoram, the Congress is looking for a third successive term in the face of a stiff challenge from the Mizo National Front.
 
Polling began at 7 a.m in three constituencies of Maoist-affected Balaghat district in Madhya Pradesh amid tight security, while in the remaining 227 of the 230 Assembly seats polling began at 8 a.m.
 
The polling will end in the three constituencies -- Baihar, Lanji and Paraswada -- at 3 p.m, while it will continue till 5 p.m in all the other constituencies.
 
In Madhya Pradesh, though the contest is mainly between the BJP and the Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) are also in the fray. 
 
Among the 2,907 candidates in Madhya Pradesh, the BJP has fielded candidates in all 230 seats, while the Congress is contesting in 229 seats leaving one seat, Jatara in Tikamgarh district, for the Sharad Yadav-led Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD).
 
The BSP has fielded 227 candidates and the SP is contesting in 51 seats. There are 1,102 independent candidates.
 
In the last polls, of the 230 seats, the BJP won 165, Congress 58, BSP four and Independents three. 
 
Over five crore registered voters in Madhya Pradesh -- 2,63,01,300 men, 2,41,30,390 women and 1,389 of the third gender -- are eligible to vote in today's polls.
 
In Mizoram, 768,181 voters, including 393,685 women, would decide the electoral fate of the 209 candidates in the state, of whom 15 are women. In 2013, only six women had contested and none were successful. 
 
According to senior police officials, around 11,100 security personnel comprising central paramilitary and state security forces were deployed across the state to ensure smooth polling and prevent any untoward incident.
 
Besides the two national parties, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), many regional and local parties have fielded candidates in most of the 40 assembly constituencies. They include the main opposition Mizo National Front (MNF), People's Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM), Zoram People's Movement (ZPM) and Meghalaya-based National People's Party (NPP). 
 
However, the main contest is likely to be between the ruling Congress and the MNF. Both the parties have fielded 40 candidates each. 
 
The BJP, which is trying to make inroads in the state, has fielded candidates in 39 constituencies. 
 
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Except for 10 years -- 1998-2003 and 2003-2008 -- the Congress has been in power in Mizoram since it became a full-fledged state in 1987. 
 
Counting of votes in Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram will be taken up on December 11 along with Chhattisgarh, where polling was held on November 12 and 20, and Rajasthan and Telangana, where voting will be held on December 7.
 
The term of the Assembly in Chhattisgarh is due to expire on January 5, 2019; Madhya Pradesh on January 7, 2019; Rajasthan on January 20, 2019 and Mizoram on December 15, 2018.
 
In Telangana, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) decided to go in for early polls and, accordingly, the Governor of the State had dissolved the Assembly with immediate effect on September 6, 2018, nearly nine months before its term was to end.
 
IANS adds:
 
Officials said the highlight of the day in Mizoram was that over 10,000 elederly voters exrcised their franchise with a 108-year old man, 106-year old woman on wheel chair and 103-year-old man coming out to vote. 
 
In the case of Madhya Pradesh, violence was reported in a few places in Bhind district. 
 
Two persons were arrested in a firing incident near an election booth in Bhind, police said. 
 
Several Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) malfunctioned, which were replaced by the poll panel officials. The Election Commission also announced that Rs 10 lakh each would be paid to its officials who died during the voting exercise. 
 
The highlight of the day in Madhya Pradesh was the voting by a 101-year-old woman, who exercised her franchise in Agar Malwa district.
 
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Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram to vote on Wednesday

Madhya Pradesh will vote on Wednesday to either give the BJP a fourth successive term in power notwithstanding anti-incumbency or give a chance to the challenger Congress to break the saffron party's monopoly over power for the last 15 years.
Polling officials checking Electronic Voting Machines on the eve of Mizoram Assembly elections, at a distribution centre at Pachhunga University College in Aizawl, Mizoram on November 27, 2018.
Polling officials checking Electronic Voting Machines on the eve of Mizoram Assembly elections, at a distribution centre at Pachhunga University College in Aizawl, Mizoram on November 27, 2018.
Madhya Pradesh will vote on Wednesday to either give the BJP a fourth successive term in power notwithstanding anti-incumbency or give a chance to the challenger Congress to break the saffron party's monopoly over power for the last 15 years.
 
Similarly, voters in Mizoram will also exercise their franchise on Wednesday to elect a new Assembly in which the Congress is striving for a third successive term against a stiff challenge from the Mizo National Front headed by former Chief Minister Zoramthanga. 
 
Mizoram, one of the four states where the Congress is in power at present besides Punjab and the Union Territory of Puducherry and part of a coalition in Karnataka, is the last remaining bastion for Congress in the northeast.
 
The campaign has been high decibel, often marked by bitter personal attacks, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi leading the charge of their parties. 
 
In Madhya Pradesh, the contest is mainly between the BJP and Congress though the Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party are also in the fray. 
 
Apart from Modi's appeal, the BJP is banking on the image of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and its organisational structure. Party President Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley campaigned in the state. 
 
The Congress put up a spirited fight by raising issues concerning people and putting up a united fight by keeping the issue of leadership at bay. 
 
Rahul Gandhi sought to rejuvenate the state unit by appointing Kamal Nath as the party chief in April this year and naming Jyotiraditya Scindia, MP, as the campaign chief. 
 
Congress leaders have sought to highlight the problems of farmers, the poor, middle class and youths in their rallies holding, especially holding demonetisation and GST as the reasons for the agrarian distress and traders' plight. 
 
Rahul Gandhi attacked Modi and his government on issues of corruption and promises made in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and by Shivraj Chauhan in the 2013 elections. He has promised a farm loan waiver within 10 days of Congress coming power. 
 
National issues issues like surgical strike, construction of Ram temple, caste and dynasty were raised with the campaign barely revolving around the issue the development. 
 
Modi attacked the Congress on corruption, dynasty politics and several other issues and gave accounts of the achievements of the state and his own government.
 
Among the 2,907 candidates in Madhya Pradesh, the BJP has fielded candidates for all 230 seats while the Congress is contesting in 229 seats leaving one seat, Jatara in Tikamgarh district, for Sharad Yadav-led LJD.
 
The BSP has fielded 227 candidates and the SP is contesting 51 seats. There are 1,102 independent candidates.
 
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The keenly watched constituency will be Budhni, the home turf of Shivraj Singh Chouhan. The Congress has pitted former Union minister and former Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee chief Arun Yadav against him. 
 
In the last polls, of the 230 seats, the BJP won 165, Congress 58, BSP four and independents three. 
 
Over five crore registered voters in Madhya Pradesh -- 2,63,01,300 men, 2,41,30,390 women and 1,389 comprising the third gender -- will decide the fate of the candidates. 
 
In Mizoram, the fight is largely between the Congress and the Mizo National Front though the BJP is also seeking to make its presence felt. The BJP has made deep inroads in the northeast since the Modi government came to power at the Centre in 2014 and its performance in the Christian majority state will be keenly watched. 
 
In the battle for supremacy in the election to the 40-member Mizoram Assembly, Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla of the Congress is seeking a hat-trick. He claims there is no incumbency against his government.
 
A total of 209 candidates are in the fray in Mizoram. 
 
The Congress has fielded 40 candidates while the BJP and MNF are contesting in 39 and 40 constituencies, respectively.
 
The Chief Minister is contesting from two seats -- Serchhip and Champhai South. The Congress has been in power since Mizoram became a full-fledged state in 1987, except for 10 years from 1998 to 2008. 
 
Around 7.7 lakh voters will decide the fate of 209 candidates.
 
Counting of votes in both the states, along with three other states -- Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Telangana -- will be held on December 11.
 
IANS
 

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Shivraj didn't file defamation suit on scams in MP: Rahul

 
MP polls: Rahul Gandhi takes digs at Shivraj Chouhan
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday attacked Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan for filing a defamation suit against him after he mistakenly took his son's name in the Panama Papers case and said he did not file any case when he talked about Vyapam, e-tender and illegal mining cases asking whether these were "true".
 
"Last time I had said mistakenly that the name of Shivraj's son is there in the Panama Papers. I realised it and said that I committed a mistake as there are a number of scams," he said addressing a public meeting in Madhya Pradesh, where assembly polls will be held on November 28.
 
Gandhi said that within a few minutes, Chauhan said that as he had given a wrong statement he would file a defamation suit against him.
 
"Shivrajji tell me one thing. You filed a defamation suit against me over the Panama Papers issue. But on Vyapam scam, e-tendering scam and illegal mining you did not file a defamation suit on me. Are these scams true," Gandhi asked, questioning the Chief Minister's "silence" on these issues. 
 
He said that "there are elections in several states and in most of these states, BJP Chief Ministers are corrupt. In Rajasthan, the son of Chief Minister (Vasundhra Raje) took Rs 10 crore from Lalit Modi. In Chhattisgarh, Raman Singh's son name appeared in the Panama Papers. And here in MP, there is Vyapam scam, illegal mining scam and e-tendering scam cases," he said. 
 
Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress leader said, before coming to power in 2014, in all his public meeting speeches he talked about "corruption, corruption and corruption". 
 
"But now look carefully to all his speeches now. Now there is no reference of corruption, employment and farmer issues," he said. 
 
Gandhi said Modi used to ask people then to not make him Prime Minister but a watchman. "But Modiji in his speech did not tell you that who he would be guarding whether Anil Ambani, Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi or Lalit Modi," he thundered. 
 
"Some took away Rs 10,000 crore and some Rs 30,000 crore from the country and the watchman after stealing the money from the pockets of the people put it in the pockets of an Indian industrialist," he said. 
 
Gandhi said that the UPA government's deal for 126 Rafale fighter jets with French government was changed by Modi to favour his industrialist friend. 
 
"Even former French President (Francois Hollande) has called our Prime Minister a thief," he said. 
 
The Congress leader also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre of not fulfilling its promises and said, "Modi had said we shall waive farmers loans but that has not been done yet. And once we are voted to power in the state, within 10 days we would waive the farm loans," he said. 
 
IANS
 

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Save Madhya Pradesh from Congress appeasement politics: PM

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Attacking Congress Chief Ministerial aspirant Kamal Nath over the leaked video in which he is seeking heavy voting by Muslims, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked people to save the state from "this politics of appeasement".
 
He also made a veiled attack on Kamal Nath linking him to the anti-Sikh riots of 1984. 
 
"Congress party is showing its true colours. It knows it is hard to save its people. Its scams are being uncovered. Kamal Nath video is out in the market. Whose votes is he seeking in that video.
 
"This is democracy we need everyone's votes, whether he is HIndu or Muslim, rich or poor. Every Indian who is a voter... but they (Congress) don't... they say don't rely on tribal votes. Is this not disrespect to democracy. Do these people have a right to contest election, brothers and sisters wipe out Congress," he said. 
 
Modi said "don't be mistaken by what Kamal Nath is saying. What he is saying are his own words. He's been a courtier of this family (Gandhi family) for decades. He is doing the bidding of 'naamdaar'. I urge you to save Madhya Pradesh from this politics of appeasement."
 
Referring to Kamal Nath's reported remarks that the "mills of Congress grind slow but fine", the Prime Minister said with a tinge of sarcasm, "Shrimaan Kamal Nath ji, everyone knows how fine you grind.. everyone knows about 84 riots. We can't let the future of Madhya Pradesh be ruined by trusting these people."
 
In an apparent reference to the agrarian distress, one of the main issues in Madhya Pradesh, Modi said: "Had Patel been the first Prime Minister, farmers would not have been in such distress as they have seen during these 55-60 years.... what Congress did, its detrimental effects are being borne by today's farmers. "
 
"I want to ask Congress-- what did you do for the people for Madhya Pradesh in 55 years and what BJP did. Do the comparison so that farmer doesn't have to bow down to anyone. We are making policies for that. We need some time to undo the wrong. And I will do it even if I get half the time they got. " 
 
Modi accused the Congress of making false promises like waiving farm loans. "Nowadays Congress is making false promises to get votes but remember each of their promises. They got four generations to run the nation but never left any chance to fool the country. India Gandhi, you tell me, did she or did she not give the slogan of 'Gareebi Hatao"? Tell me honestly did gareebi (poverty) go? Did she not make a fool of you." 
 
He said the Congress nationalised the banks saying that there was a monopoly of rich people on it and that they wanted banks to serve in the interest of the poor. 
 
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"Was this for helping the poor.. was it a fraud or not? The promise that Indira Gandhi could not fulfil, Modi did with Jan Dhan Yojana. Those who could not fulfil their promises for 40 years, would you believe them now" 
 
"And in 2008 also, they had made the same promise of loan waiver. No one will tell you this thing but it is important to know the truth. Madam Sonia's remote-control government had made the decision. Manmohan Singh was also there. To win the election they made the promise. of loan waiver.. Then the loans of farmers amounted to Rs six lakh crore . How much did they waive.. only Rs 60,000 crore." 
 
"Even then, 35 lakh of whose loans were waived were not even eligible for it. Who were these people, what was their relationship with Congress. And today again they have begun lying."
 
"Now tell me, all these people who were doing this swindling, would they like Modi? Who will protect you from these people, who will protect public money, That's why I need your blessing. " 
 
Modi attacked Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, saying, "Look at their shamelessness, people who did fraud worth crores of rupees, are out on bail.. Mother and Son both are out on bail, and they are asking me questions, why did I ban notes. I locked down 3 lakh companies which were engaged in such frauds" 
 
He said his government has so far given 6 crore gas connections. The aim is for 8.5 crore. 
 
"You do the math in this country from independence to 2014 before I became Prime Minister. In nearly 60 years many governments came and went and they all could give only 13 crore gas connections and Modi in four years gave 12 crore new connections."
 
"How work is done, how society is changed. It would have taken them four more generations to do this. That is why I have come to urge you. Our only agenda is the development of Madhya Pradesh and of the country," he said.
 
IANS
 

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6 school children among 7 killed in MP accident

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Seven persons including six children on Thursday died in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh when a passenger bus collided with a school van, police said. Six other children also received injuries in the incident.
 
"A private school van collided with a bus coming from the opposite direction near Birsinghpur village under Sabhapur police jurisdiction," police station Incharge Vijay Yadav told IANS.
 
Six children and the driver of van were killed and six other children were injured in the accident, he said, adding that the condition of two injured students is stated to be critical.
 
The injured children are being treated in the Satna District Hospital.
 
Satna Superintendent of Police Santosh Gaur told reporters that dozens of other people on board the van are in a state of panic.
 
The exact cause of accident will be known only after proper investigation, he added.
 
IANS
 

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Four school kids among 5 killed in MP accident

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Four children were among five persons killed when a bus collided with a school van in Madhya Pradesh's Satna district on Thursday morning, police said.
 
Dozens of other people on board the van were in a state of panic, Satna police chief Santosh Gaur said, confirming that the van driver was also among the dead.
 
The personnel dispatched to Birsinghpur village by the Police Control Room arrived at a scene of screaming and crying children after the head-on collision left four more students in a serious condition.
 
All the injured were rushed to the district hospital, Gaur added.
 
IANS
 
 
 

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Congress means nepotism, corruption: Modi

 
Corruption ruined nation when Congress was in power: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday told people of this town in north-eastern Madhya Pradesh that Congress means "nepotism" and "corruption", and that it kept people of the state in "darkness" during its 55-year rule.
 
"From wherever Congress is voted out of power, it doesn't come back... Please don't let it come back in Madhya Pradesh. Congress means nepotism, casteism, communalism, and corruption. Congress means people may die if they wish," Modi said in his address. 
 
He accused the Congress of obstructing the work of successive Bharatiya Janata Party governments in the state for the last 15 years. 
 
"People gave us 15 years, but during 10 years of these, Delhi had a government governed through a remote control, run by madam (Sonia Gandhi), whose ears used to prick at the mention of BJP... 'we won't let him (Chouhan) accomplish anything'.
 
"For 10 years, Madhya Pradesh government had to fight every day for their rights.... and they (Congress) put road blocks in our every work for 10 years... In true sense, the Madhya Pradesh government only got a chance to work in the last 4 years (coinciding with the BJP rule at the Centre)," he said. 
 
The Prime Minister exhorted the people to vote in the election not to seal the fate of any political party but to write the fortune of their children. 
 
"This election is not about who wins or who loses. This election is for you to decide what kind of Madhya Pradesh you want to give to your children. This election is not to decide the fate of any political party, but your own," he said. 
 
"Government should be for the poor, for the common man, for the needy. We have tried to come good on these counts," Modi said.
 
IANS
 

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Koregaon-Bhima case: Digvijay Singh on Pune police radar

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Pune police are likely to question senior Congressman and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh whose name had come up in the ongoing probe into the Koregaon-Bhima case almost three months ago, officials said here on Monday.
 
"We may call or question him in connection with the matter, but there is no time-frame decided yet," Joint Police Commissioner Shivajirao Bodkhe told IANS.
 
Singh's reference is in connection with a telephone number - said to belong to the Congress leader - found in one of the letters seized from the alleged Maoist sympathisers arrested by the police in the past few months.
 
The Congress leader's name was raised nearly three months ago with some Bharatiya Janata Party leaders like spokesperson Sambit Patra also referring to it.
 
"We have found a letter with some phone numbers. These are being investigated," Deputy Commissioner of Police Suhas Bavche said, without elaborating.
 
Singh had expressed his readiness to face any probe in early September and said: "If that is so, then I should be arrested right away."
 
In the latest instance, the Maharashtra Congress has taken strong umbrage at the allegations and efforts by the Maharashtra Police to drag Singh into the matter.
 
"Are the Pune police trying to help BJP in the Madhya Pradesh elections? Even after being pulled up in the Supreme Court, why does the (Pune) police keep rushing to the media? We see this happening," said Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant. 
 
The letter, dated September 25, 2017, has been submitted before the Special Court as part of the evidence proving the links between the arrested activists and Maoist leaders of various outlawed groups like the CPI-Maoist.
 
IANS
 

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Modi mocks Congress' pledge to protect cows in MP

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday hit out at the Congress for their pledge to protect cows in Madhya Pradesh, reminding the party that its workers in Kerala last year slaughtered a calf in the open.
 
Addressing an election rally in Chhindwara, the Prime Minister also attacked Congress President Rahul Gandhi with the "naamdaar" jibe for "repeatedly lying" to discredit the BJP-led central government.
 
"In the manifesto for Madhya Pradesh, the Congress party is hailing the cow as a mother, but on the streets of Kerala, the Congress people cut off the head of a calf and circulated photos of their eating beef, saying that it was their right to eat cow-meat," Modi said.
 
He said that the Congress included the issue of cow in their election manifesto to confuse the people. "I am criticising it. It is their right but the question that arises is whether the Congress of Madhya Pradesh and Congress of Kerala are separate. Tell the truth to the people. You may like cow or not, it's your prerogative, but don't fool the people," he said.
 
The Congress in its election manifesto has promised to build gaushalas (cow sheds) in every gram panchayat, establish a new department for spirituality, open new Sanskrit schools, besides loan waiver for farmers.
 
The Prime Minister said the Congress had promised farm loan waiver in Karnataka but has not yet implemented it.
 
"They promise but do not deliver. Cheating is in the their blood," he said.
 
Taking a jibe at Congress leaders for questioning the surgical strikes and allegedly using foul language against the army chief, the Prime Minister said that Rahul Gandhi is "confused", and the Congress under him is "fused". 
 
Using his trademark jibe of "naamdaar" at Rahul Gandhi, the Prime Minister said he was continuously abusing him because Modi has put an end to corruption by using technology.
 
"Wherever the naamdaar goes, repeats the same cassette. If you have courage, give the account of your four generations. Modi is ready to give account of his four years," he said.
 
IANS
 

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Rahul goes ballistic against Modi, MP CM

 
Policies by Congress not a gift, they belong to people: Rahul Gandhi
Flaying Prime Minister Narendra Modi for inflicting the "biggest scam" on the nation in the form of demonetisation, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday assured the people of Madhya Pradesh that his party, if voted to power, would waive farm loans and turn the state into India's agriculture hub.
 
Addressing election rallies in the state, where the BJP is in power since 2003, Gandhi also targeted Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Vyapam scam and accused his government of snatching away lands from tribals and farmers and giving them away to a handful of industrialists. 
 
Addressing a rally in Deori of Sagar district, he said that, during the note ban exercise of 2016, Modi made hundreds of thousands of labourers, women and small businessmen stand in serpentine queues outside banks. 
 
"Did you see any black money hoarders like Nirav Modi or Mehul Choksi queuing up?" asked Gandhi. "Through the note ban, Modi snatched the hard earned money of the poor and put them in his cronies' pockets.
 
"In the last two years, unemployment has doubled and suicide rate among the youth has increased by 2,000 per cent. 
 
"China creates 50,000 jobs per day, whereas despite 'Start Up India' and 'Make in India' schemes, the Indian government creates only 450 jobs in a day," the Congress leader said.
 
Continuing his attack on Modi over the Rafale "scam", Gandhi accused him of being a chowkidar (watchman) only to his industrialist cronies. 
 
Gandhi alleged that much like demonetisation, the deal to procure the 36 French fighter jets was only aimed at enriching his industrialist friends. 
 
Launching a scathing attack on Chouhan, he said: "Entire Madhya Pradesh knows the role of Shivraj Chouhan and his family in the Vyapam scam." 
 
He added that over 1,00,000 government posts in the state were lying vacant while schools and hospitals were privatised and making them inaccessible to the poor.
 
Addressing another rally in Seoni, Gandhi accused the Chouhan-led Bharatiya Janata Party government of snatching away the land of tribals and farmers. 
 
"Three most important things for tribals and farmers are water, land and jungle. And this government has snatched them away for the sake of a handful of industrialists," he said and assured that if Congress came to power it would protect the land rights of tribals and farmers. 
 
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He said by privatising schools, colleges and hospitals, the Chouhan government has made education and healthcare inaccessible for the poor. 
 
"Chouhan has destroyed the entire education system in the state. 50 people have died in the Vyapam scam and entire state knows which family benefited from the scam," alleged Gandhi. 
 
He also ridiculed Modi over his 2014 Lok Sabha poll promises of providing two crore jobs annually and giving Rs 15 lakh to every Indian. 
 
Taking on the BJP over farmer suicides, Gandhi said: "Modi opened doors of the banks for fraudsters like Vijay Mallya and Mehul Choksi. 
 
"His government waived off corporate loans to the tune of Rs 3.50 lakh crore but could not do the same for the poor farmers". 
 
"We don't want two countries -- one of the poor and exploited and other of a handful of rich. 
 
"If we wanted two Indias, we would have hoisted two flags on Independence Day, one for 15-20 industrialists and one for common man. We want one country and we want justice.''
 
"We will open the doors of the banks for youth, farmers and tribals," said Gandhi promising that food processing units would be set up across the state and Madhya Pradesh would be turned into the country's agriculture hub. 
 
The 230-member state Assembly goes to poll on November 28 and the results will be declared on December 11. 
 
IANS
 

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CCEA approves Rs 469.41 crore package for revival, modernization of Nepa Ltd

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday approved a financial package of Rs. 469.41 crore for the Revival and Mill Development Plan (RMDP) of Nepa Limited, a public sector newsprint company located in Nepanagar, Madhya Pradesh.
 
The package, approved on October 3, includes an infusion of Rs 277 crore as equity in the company for the completion of RMDP, an official press release said.
 
It will enhance the production capacity to 1,00,000 MT per annum from the present capacity of 83,000 MT per annum, diversify production, improve the quality of products and also help resume production at Nepa Ltd. The RMDP is expected to be completed within a year, it said.
 
A loan of Rs 101.58 crore has also been approved for the payment of salary and wages. This will reduce the hardship being faced by the Nepa Ltd. employees. A sum of Rs 90.83 crore was approved for the voluntary retirement scheme of 400 employees. 
 
The strategic disinvestment of Nepa Ltd. on completion of the RMDP at an appropriate time was also approved. The completion of the RMDP will help Nepa Ltd. to boost production, diversify its product portfolio and also support employment in the tribal belt of Madhya Pradesh, the release said.
 
Nepa Ltd. is a pioneer newsprint company located in Burhanpur district. Set up in 1947, it was the only newsprint manufacturing unit in India up to 1981.
 
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MP polls: Congress fields Arun Yadav, Sartaj Singh

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The Congress on Thursday released its fifth and sixth lists of candidates for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections fielding former Union Ministers Arun Yadav and Sartaj Singh.
 
Yadav, a Minister of State, in the erstwhile UPA government, has been pitted against Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Budhni -- the home turf of the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) leader.
 
In the sixth list, the party named six candidates while leaving the Jatara seat for its ally Loktantrik Janata Dal.
 
The party has given tickets to Sanjay Shukla from Indore-1, Mohan Singh Sengar from Indore-2 and Satyanarayan Patel from Indore-5 constituencies.
 
Earlier in the day, the Congress released its fifth list of 16 candidates fielding former Union Minister and BJP veteran Sartaj Singh.
 
Singh, who was in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet, switched to the Congress on the day after being denied ticket by the BJP. A former state minister, he will be contesting from Hoshangabad.
 
He was shunted out of the state cabinet in 2016 on the basis of the 75-plus age criteria.
 
The state goes to the polls to elect 230-member Assembly on November 28.
 
IANS

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BJP releases 3rd list for MP, drops Babulal Gaur, Kailash Vijayvargiya

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday released the third list of 32 candidates for Madhya Pradesh with the party deciding to drop 10 sitting MLAs including former Chief Minister Babulal Gaur and its national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya.
 
As per the list, the party has fielded the daughter-in-law of Babulal Gaur, Krishna Gaur from Govindpura Assembly constituency while Vijayvargiya has been replaced by Usha Thakur, the sitting MLA from Indore-3.
 
Babulal Gaur, a former Home Minister, was forced to resign on the grounds that his age was over 75. He was representing the Govindpura Assembly constituency since 1980 and had threatened the party that if he or his daughter-in-law was not given a ticket, both would contest the polls independently.
 
Vijayvargiya's son Akash Vijayvargiya is set to begin his electoral politics from Indore-3, the constituency represented by Thakur.
 
Senior Vijayvargiya, a close confidant of BJP Chief Amit Shah, has been more focussed on national politics especially after the saffron party for the first time formed its government in Haryana. The party's victory in Haryana was credited to Vijayvargiya.
 
The BJP has fielded Ajit Premchandra Borasi, son of former Ujjain MP Prem Chand Guddu from Ghatiya Assembly constituency by denying ticket to its sitting MLA Satish Malviya.
 
Besides Gaur, Vijayvargiya and Malviya, the BJP has also dropped its sitting MLAs Narendra Kushwaha from Bhind, Mukesh Singh Chaturvedi from Mehgaon, Ghanshyam Pironia from Bhander and Govind Singh Patel from Gadarwara among others.
 
With the third list, the BJP has as of now released the names of 225 candidates leaving five seats. The BJP had earlier issued its first list of 176 candidates, while in the second list it announced 17 names.
 
There are 230 seats in Madhya Pradesh, where the saffron party has been in power for three consecutive terms.
 
IANS
 

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Congress releases 4th list for Madhya Pradesh, fields Chouhan kin

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The Congress On Wednesday released its fourth list of candidates for the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections, including BJP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's brother-in-law Sanjay Singh Masani.
 
The party has named 29 nominees, including Masani, who recently joined the Congress. He will be contesting from Waraseoni constituency in Balaghat district.
 
The Congress thus far has announced 213 nominees for the 230 assembly constituencies which vote on November 28. 
 
The Congress is seeking to oust the BJP government which is in power for the last 15 years. 
 
IANS

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MP polls: Congress releases first list of candidates

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The Congress on Saturday released its first list of 155 candidates for the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections.
 
The list does not include either of the party's two chief ministerial probables -- Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath and Guna lawmaker Jyotiraditya Scindia.
 
Congress veteran and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh's brother Laxman Singh has been fielded from the Chachaura seat in Guna district, while Digvijaya Singh's son Jaivardhan Singh will re-contest from Raghogarh, earlier represented by Digvijaya Singh in 1998 and 2003.
 
Congress national secretary Jitu Patwari is contesting from Rau in Indore district and party leader Suresh Pachauri has been fielded from Raisen district's Bhojpur seat.
 
Govind Singh has been re-nominated from the Lahar seat in Bhind district, while in neighbouring Gwalior district, sitting legislator Lakhan Singh Yadav has been re-nominated from Bhitrwar.
 
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday announced its first list of candidates for 177 seats.
 
Earlier in the day, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's brother-in-law Sanjay Singh Masani joined the Congress.
 
Brother of Chouhan's wife Sadhana, Masani was formally inducted into the party in the presence of Kamal Nath here.
 
Sanjay Singh Masani was said to be peeved at the BJP for denying him a ticket for the Assembly polls. He reportedly wanted to contest from Waraseoni in Balaghat district from where the BJP has fielded sitting MLA Yogendra Nirmal.
 
The 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly will have a single-phase polling on November 28.
 
IANS

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MP CM's brother-in-law joins Congress

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Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's brother-in-law Sanjay Singh Masani on Saturday joined the Congress ahead of the Assembly elections in the central Indian state.
 
Brother of Chouhan's wife Sadhana, Masani, was formally inducted into the party in the presence of Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath here.
 
Masani was said to be peeved at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for denying him a ticket for the Assembly polls. Reportedly, he wanted to contest from Waraseoni in Balaghat district from where the BJP has fielded sitting MLA Yogendra Nirmal.
 
"BJP is now all about dynasty and nepotism. Most of the candidates fielded by BJP are sons and daughters of MLAs or MPs. Those who work for the party are being neglected for the sake of dynasty politics," he said.
 
Masani flayed the Chouhan-led BJP government in the state and said it was time for the Congress to come to power in Madhya Pradesh.
 
"Rising unemployment and lack of industry are two major problems in the state and the Chouhan government has done nothing all these years," he added.
 
The 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly will have a single-phase polling on November 28.
 
IANS
 

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Chouhan's son files defamation case, Rahul says he got confused

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Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's son Kartikey on Tuesday filed a defamation case against Rahul Gandhi who linked his name to the Panama papers, but the Congress President clarified he got "confused" due to "scams" in BJP state governments and was referring to the son of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh.
 
Gandhi's faux pas during a rally in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh on Monday has become a political issue with Chouhan and BJP leaders commenting on it. 
 
The Congress President told reporters during an informal interaction in Indore on Tuesday that he had made allegations against the son of the Chief Minister in relation to the Panama papers, but it actually related to the alleged charges against the son of the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister. 
 
"So many scams have taken place in BJP state governments that I got confused. The name of son of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister is not there in Panama papers. But Vyapam and e-tendering scams have taken place in his rule," Gandhi said. 
 
Panama Papers refers to the leak of millions of files from the database of the world's fourth biggest offshore law firm Mossak Fonseca that helped in setting up off-shore entities. 
 
Kartikey on Tuesday filed a defamation case against Gandhi in a special court in Bhopal. His lawyer Shirish Shrivastava told reporters that case has been filed because Rahul Gandhi has attempted to defame Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his son during his remarks at a rally in Jabhua. He alleged that it was part of a plan and Gandhi wanted to reap political benefit from his remarks. 
 
Shrivastava said that Chouhan and his son have nothing to do with the Panama papers leak case. He said media clippings and a video of Gandhi's remarks have been submitted with the complaint. 
 
Addressing the rally, Gandhi had said that the name of Chouhan's son is there in the Panama papers leaks. He had said that a Prime Minister of Pakistan lost his post on this issue "but nothing happened here despite name of son of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister being there". 
 
Chouhan told reporters on Tuesday that Gandhi would not have made the comments without giving it a thought.
 
"Rahul Gandhi is not a small or a street-level leader. Hence the remarks would not have been made without thought," he said. 
 
Asked about Rahul Gandhi accepting his mistake and if the matter of defamation will be pursued, he said if Rahul Gandhi accepts the mistake publicly only then would they think about it. 
 
IANS
 

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BJP's 'Achhe Din' over in 4 years: Rahul

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying his promise of "Achhe Din" had gone up in smoke in just four years and now people were alleging that "chowkidar chor hai" (watchman is corrupt).
 
As he sharpened his barbs, Gandhi uttered the word "chowkidar" and the crowd attending a rally here roared back: "chor hai". It was the Congress leader's last leg of a two-day visit to the state.
 
If on Monday his attacks were aimed at Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, then on Tuesday Gandhi took aim at the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership.
 
He mentioned the Rafale deal, the happenings in the CBI and the Nirav Modi-PNB scam in the run up to the Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls of November 28.
 
"Modi says he is not a ruler but a (political) servant -- a watchman. It is a lie. He is not guarding poor people's assets. 
 
"In fact he is filling up the coffers of his cronies... He saves fugitives like Nirav Modi and Mehul Chowksi and Vijay Mallya who leave Indian shores for the foreign ones without any fear."
 
A number of BJP leaders on Tuesday joined the Congress in Madhya Pradesh in Gandhi's presence. BJP MLA Sanjay Sharma, former MLA Kamlapat Arya and Kirar community leader Gulab Singh Kirar joined the party earlier in Indore. 
 
IANS
 

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MP BJP MLA, former MLA, Kirar leader join Congress

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Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Sanjay Sharma, former MLA Kamlapat Arya and Akhil Bhartiya Kirar Samaaj leader Gulab Singh Kirar joined the Congress in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday in the presence of party President Rahul Gandhi.
 
Congress state spokesman Durgesh Sharma told IANS: "On Tuesday morning Rahul Gandhi was in Indore where BJP MLA Sanjay Sharma from Tendukheda area, Kamlapat Arya from Chambal area, and Kirar samaaj leader Gulab Singh Kirar joined the Congress."
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Truck hits Trivandrum-Delhi Rajdhani Express in MP, two coaches derail

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Two coaches of the Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express from Trivandrum in Kerala derailed when a truck broke through a closed manned level crossing and crashed into the train in Madhya Pradesh early this morning.
 
The driver of the truck suffered serious injuries in the incident but none of the passengers of the train was injured, Western Railway sources said.
 
The truck dashed into the B7 and B8 coaches of the 12431 Trivandrum-Hazrat Nizamuddin Rajdhani Express at around 0644 hours toay, after breaking through the barrier, between Meghnagar and Thandla Road stations on the Ratlam-Godhra section of Western Railway.
 
Senior railway officials as well as a medical van and an accident relief train reached the site soon afterwards, the sources said.
 
Both the Up and Down lines were infringed as a result of the mishap and efforts were on to start the Up line at the earliest by removing the debris of the truck, they said.
 
"All possible help is being provided to the passengers. There is no injury to any train passenger," the sources said.
 
"All the passengers of affected coaches have been shifted to the other coaches and 12431 Rajdhani Express has been moved ahead from the accident site leaving the affected coaches. Restoration work is on to start the lines at the site as soon as possible," they added.
 
The Railways have set up the following helplines:
 
Ratlam: 01472-230126, 07412-232230, 01472-232382.
Trivandrum: 0471-2321205, 2321194
 
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Gandhi attacks Modi on women's safety, makes veiled reference to Akbar

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on women's safety and taunted him over his "silence" while alluding to the allegations of sexual harassment against Minister of State for External Affairs M. J. Akbar.
 
Addressing an election rally, Gandhi targeted the Modi government at the Centre and the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in the state over unemployment, corruption and farmer suicides. 
 
"Fingers are being raised at Modi's Minister, but our Prime Minister is silent," Gandhi said. 
 
This is probably the first time that Gandhi has made a veiled reference to Akbar in an election speech. The Congress has been demanding Akbar's removal in the wake of several women journalists accusing him of sexual harassment and misconduct during his long stint as editor of various publications. 
 
The allegations have been made as part of the #MeToo movement. Akbar has rubbished the allegations and has filed a criminal defamation suit.
 
Gandhi also targeted Modi over his slogan 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' (save girls, educate them).
 
"When BJP MLA (Kuldeep Singh Sengar) raped a girl in Unnao, our Prime Minister and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister (Adityanath) kept mum. The BJP's slogan of 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' must now be reframed as 'BJP ke mantri aur MLA se beti bachao' (save daughters from BJP Minister, MLA)," said Gandhi. 
 
Attacking both Modi and Chouhan over a host of issues, Gandhi said Madhya Pradesh topped the country in terms of malnutrition and was one of the least developed states. 
 
He also raked up the Rafale fighter jet deal with France, rising prices of petrol and diesel and the Vyapam scam and accused both Modi and Chouhan of not fulfilling their promises. 
 
He said a Congress government would waive loans of farmers and transform the state.
 
Polling in Madhya Pradesh will take place on November 28. 
 
IANS
 

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Rahul confident Congress will return to power in MP

File photo of Rahul Gandhi
File photo of Rahul Gandhi
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday exuded confidence that the party will return to power in Madhya Pradesh after the November 28 Assembly elections.
 
"The government that the Congress will form in the state will be responsive to farmers, small traders, women and party workers," Gandhi said at a public meeting here. 
 
The Congress has been out of power since 2004 and is keen on dislodging the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in the state. 
 
Gandhi, on a two-day visit of Madhya Pradesh ahead of next month's Assembly polls, reiterated his promise that the Congress, if elected, will waive off farm loans within 10 days of government formation.
 
The Congress leader earlier on Monday hit out at Narendra Modi, accusing the Prime Minister of insulting the people of India.
 
"The Prime Minister said from the ramparts of the Red Fort that the nation had been asleep for 70 years," he said here ahead of next month's Assembly election in Madhya Pradesh. "This is an insult to every section of the society." 
 
On August 15, Modi had criticized the Congress that has ruled for long years since India's Independence in 1947. He had said that India was earlier a sleeping elephant, which had woken up and started running.
 
President Donald Trump finds India and China competing with the US, Gandhi said at a public meeting here. "We have reached this stage because of the contribution of farmers, workers, small businessmen and women over the past 70 years."
 
He also called the Modi government at the Centre a "government of the country's top 15 businessmen". 
 
Gandhi reached Gwalior by a special plane on Monday and then went to the Pitambara Peeth temple in Datia, accompanied by party leaders Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia.
 
He will address a public meeting in Dabra, and then proceed to Gwalior, where he will pay tributes to late Congress leader Madhavrao Scindia at his memorial.
 
IANS
 

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Not a single intruder will be allowed in India: Amit Shah

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Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah, who is on a visit to Madhya Pradesh, said on Saturday the country comes first for the party and no intruders will be allowed in India.
 
In his address to party workers at the Dussehra Maidan here, he slammed the opposition parties, saying that they support the intruders for political gains but for the BJP the country comes first. This is why the intruders are being identified in several states across the country. 
 
Taking a jibe at the Congress, he said those questioning the BJP-led government on its four-year rule should first give an account of their four-decade rule.
 
"In the last four years, the BJP has worked for the benefits to reach every section of the society," he said. 
 
While he was welcomed by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and other leaders, several people came out on to the streets shouting slogans against Shah. They have been protesting against the amendment to the SC/ST Act. 
 
The police arrested the protesters, amongst whom members of the Karni Sena and Swarn Samaj were present.
 
After laying a wreath at the idol of Ahilya Bai, he went on to pray at the Mahalakshmi Temple.
 
From Indore, Shah will go to Jhabua where he will address a group of tribal people. In Jaora he will meet a farmers' group, and in Ujjain the party workers.
 
IANS
 

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